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EU-PNR (Passenger Name Record): 2011 ongoing

Updated: 12.8.13

European Parliament: Draft Report: Proposal for a Directive of the Council and the European Parliament on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf)

13.6.13: Committee asked to reconsider passenger data plan (European Voice, link): The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament (LIBE) opposed the idea of extending the EU-PNR proposal to also cover tracking passengers' movements inside the EU (recording all travel between Member States). This extension of the proposals scope was initiated by the UK government and other governments in the Justice and Home Affairs Council. The original proposal from the European Commission concerned only monitoring air travel from outside the EU (those coming into the EU from third countries on visas or visa-free countries). The Committee's report was due to be discussed at the Strasbourg plenary session this week but the Conference of Presidents (the party leaders in the EP) stepped in and sent it back to the Committee.

24.4.13: The EP Committee rejects the proposal for a European passenger name record system (EAFSJ blog, link)

"The LIBE negative vote, even if expected, has created some concerns on the Commission side. However Commissioner Cecilia Malmström still believes that a solution can be found before the plenary vote since “it is the only way of avoiding the fragmentation of PNR systems and of effectively protecting personal data.” In the coming weeks it will be clear if the Commissioner position is well founded or if supplementary work will be needed or a final negative vote will close the procedure"

24.4.13: European Parliament: Civil Liberties Committee rejects EU Passenger Name Record proposal (press release, link) A European Commission proposal to allow the use of EU air passenger name record (PNR) data in investigating serious crime and terrorist offences was rejected by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs Wednesday, by 30 votes to 25. MEPs vote down air passenger data scheme (euobserver, link)

23.4.12: EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Council negotiating position: Proposal for a Directive of the Council and the European Parliament on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (8916/12, pdf)

Draft Europeam Parliament Report: On the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council
on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime
(14.2.13, pdf, link)

Council of the European Union: Study by the Presidency on Advanced Passenger Information and Passenger Name Records (pdf)

Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the Council and the European Parliament on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (8916-12, 23.4.12,pdf)

Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive of the Council and the European Parliament on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (15-3-12, pdf)

The European Commission put forward a new proposal for a Directive on EU-PNR on 2 February 2011. EU-PNR: European Commission:

- Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf)

- Impact Assessment (SEC 132, pdf)
-
Staff Working Paper (SEC 133, pdf).

All passengers flying in and out of the EU will have to provide their "Passenger Name Record" (PNR) data, eg: home address, mobile phone number, credit card information and email address – which will be checked against national watch-lists for suspected links with terrorism or serious crime (although the above documents sometimes refer to crime in general). Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"The current proposal comes down in favour of collecting personal data (PNR) for travel by air in and out of the EU. But there is the distinct possibility that this could be extended to travel by sea and land and to travel between EU countries and within countries - everyones' movements everywhere would be monitored by the state. And this could be extended, as is planned in the EU for air travel [ESTA], to needing to get permission to travel. A truly nightmare scenario."

Earlier News


A salutory reminder: See: Statewatch Analysis: EU: The surveillance of travel where everyone is a suspect (2008, pdf): “all travellers are... considered a priori as potential law breakers” - travellers to be checked by “an automated gate and kiosk” which included:

"Prior to putting forward the EU-PNR proposal the Commission held a consultation exercise. Most illuminating are the options given and the response of EUgovernments (24 replied).

The first concerns the "scope" of the proposal, should it cover just air travel or sea and land travel as well? Six member states (Bulgaria, Spain, Latvia, France, Luxembourg and the UK) said it should cover all three. A further 12 said they should cover air and sea travel.

Second, should it cover just travel into the EU, or travel out of the EU as well or travel within the EU in addition? Seven governments want all three categories (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Germany, Estonia, France, Romania and the UK). All wanted it to cover terrorism and serious organised crime - the UK wants it to cover "general public policy purposes" as well.

As to the "onward transfer" of PNR data nine governments (Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and the UK) want the data to be passed outside the EU to third countries."

EU: Standing Committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law: The Meijers Committee Opinion on: Directive on the use of PNR data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (COM(2011)32) (pdf)

EU: Fundamental Rights Agency: Opinion on Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf)

EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Confusion in the Council over key elements of EU-PNR proposal, see Point 4 in: Summary of discussions (pdf). The meeting of the Working Party on General Matters, including Evaluation (GENVAL) heard a presentation from the Council's Legal Service expressing concern at the necessity and proportionality of the proposal under the Treaty and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and "While some delegations stated that they were convinced of the need for collecting and processing PNR data, others indicated that they faced difficulties in convincing national Parliament of such necessity." The Commission opposed the UK plan for targeting certain flights "on the grounds that the information gaps it would create in the collection of data within Member States would also hamper the information exchange between Member States as the requested Member State might not have collected the requested PNR data." (emphasis added) and "many Member States also expressed qualms regarding the idea of allowing Member States to restrict the collection of PNR data to targeted flights."

On retention periods: "The discussions showed a divergence of opinions between Member States on what is the appropriate period for retaining data. A few Member States were of the opinion that the initial period of 30 days with full access was too long, whereas several other Member States thought it should be longer."

An earlier discussion on EU-PNR and data protection on 2 May 2011: EU doc no: 9502-11 (pdf) contains the classic statement: "it needs to be kept in mind that the collection and processing of PNR data serves certain law enforcement purposes (set out in Article 4(2)) and therefore care needs to be taken that any data protection arrangements for the collection and processing of PNR data do not defeat the very law
enforcement purposes they are supposed to serve."
(emphasis added)

EU: Fundamental Rights Agency: Opinion on Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf)

EU-PNR: Analysis of proposed PNR Directive exposes absent or minimal data protection and privacy safeguards (Amberhawk, link)

EU: European Economic and Social Committee on EU-PNR: Opinion (pdf): "the European Economic and Social Committee... voices its concern that the often-cited choice between security and freedom or, in more practical terms, stepping up security at the expense of citizens' rights, with regard to personal data, must under no circumstances run counter to the general principles underpinning fundamental personal rights."

EU: UK OPT IN TO THE EU-PNR SCHEME: Statement (pdf). This is hardly a surprise as the UK led the re-writing of the Commission's proposal in the Council to extend the scheme from flights in and out of the EU to flights between Member States too. In the long-term the UK government backs the extension of the EU-PNR scheme to cover all flights within Member States and to land and sea travel too - the total surveillance of all movement. UK opt-in (pdf) and Statement in House of Commons (pdf) See also: Ireland opt-in (pdf)

EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Latest draft of the Council's position: now includes "intra-EU flights" (between Member States) and well as flights in and out of the EU: Proposal for a Directive of the Council and the European Parliament on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf)

EU-PNR: Follow-up to the JHA Council discussions:Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - The possible inclusion of intra-EU flights (pdf)

12 April 2011: EU-PNR: Countries rally behind UK on EU flight data collection (euractiv, link): "The UK yesterday won an expected victory at a meeting of Justice and Home Affairs ministers when seventeen countries said they would like to include intra-EU flights in a draft directive on passenger name records. EurActiv previously reported that Germany was a major opponent to this measure and sources reveal this is still the case. They are joined by Austria, Slovenia and Luxembourg." See: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - German position (Doc no: 8118/11, pdf)

5 April 2011: EU-PNR: INTRA EU FLIGHTS: Council of the European Union: backing for UK proposal to extend the EU-PNR scheme to cover flights between Member States: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime - The possible inclusion of intra-EU flights (EU doc no: 8016-11, pdf) See also: Member states to clash with EU parliament on passenger data (euobserver, link)

14 March 2011: Statewatch Analysis: Proposal for a Directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data
for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime
(pdf) by Maire Hynes: "the proposal is part of a “step-by-step approach” which will see the systematic collection, retention and analysing of passenger’s data whether they fly from or to the EU and a third country (as per the proposal), or whether they fly internally within the EU (as per the UK’s proposed amendments to the proposal.) Alarmingly, plans for the surveillance of traveller’s do not stop there and the extension of this proposal to the use of PNR data of sea and rail travellers has not been completely ruled out."

EU-PNR SCHEME: UK seeking to extend Commission proposal to cover intra-EU flights from the start

Tony Bunyan, Statewatch Director, comments:

"The Commission's EU-PNR proposal covers flights in and out of the EU but its Impact Assessment opens the door for its scope to be extended to flights between EU Member States and domestic flights plus sea and rail travel as well. The UK quickly exploited this and already a majority of EU Member States back the immediate extension of the proposal to internal EU flights.

This is a slippery slope. It is only a matter of time before the scheme is extended to cover every means of travel with the long-term prospect of an EU travel authorisation system to back it up - all travel would be surveilled and authorised by the state."

- Summary of the Commission’s EU-PNR Proposals (pdf)
-
Summary of policy options analysed in Commission Impact Assessment (pdf)

Council of the European Union


- EU-PNR: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a directive on the use of Passenger Name Record data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime (pdf): "a comparative table in which the provisions of the 2011 Commission proposal for a PNR Directive are presented side by side with the provisions of the draft Framework Decision on the use of Passenger Name Record data for law enforcement purposes, as it stood at the end of the Czech Presidency in 2009"

- Contribution of the Terrorism Working Party to the discussion on European system of collecting and analyzing Passenger Name Records (PNR) (8667/09, pdf)

Media



- EU police forces to see British passengers' personal information (Daily Telegraph, link): "Britons flying anywhere in Europe will have sensitive personal information handed over to the police authorities in all 27 EU countries under a new air travel surveillance system.... But The Daily Telegraph has learned that Britain has already effectively “opted-in” by joining France, Denmark and Sweden in negotiations with the European Commission to ensure that the PNR data is collected for all European flights"

Background


EU to collect data of international air travellers (euobserver, link).

This is not the first time an EU-PNR scheme has been proposed, the Commission put forward a proposal for a Framework Decision in 2007: Commission proposal (pdf). In November 2008 the European Parliament refused to vote on the proposal.

See Statewatch Analysis: EU: The surveillance of travel where everyone is a suspect (2008, pdf)

For all the background on the 2007 proposal see Statewatch's Observatory on EU surveillance of passengers (PNR)


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